Council has voted this morning to fund two contracts with ACS State and Local Solutions, worth $7.5million over the next five years, to fit red light and speed cameras in Portland.
But the ACLU is concerned about ACS using the information for scary business. "As part of any government contract where a third party has access to third party records, there's always a danger of mission creep," said Andrea Meyer with the ACLU of Oregon.
"ACS is owned by IBM and has significant work that it does around the country, including finding people who are delinquent on their student loan payments," said Meyer. "There should be a specific clause in the contract that forbids them from using the information they are using for other causes."
City Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Nick Fish said they had concerns about that, too.
"We're owned by the Xerox corporation, not IBM," said Vincent Kingsley Park, from ACS. "Once we use the information to issue the citation, the database is clear. Once we have issued the citation then the information is deleted."
Then, Saltzman wondered whether council could use the photos from the cameras for other citations.
"This council is big on two-fers," he said. "So if the speed camera showed that someone was texting, or on a cell phone, could we also cite them for that, too?"
"So we'd have to go to the legislature for that?" Saltzman asked. Yes.
In the audience, Meyer shook her head.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!